Fashion Hong Kong Designers Reveal the Inspirations Behind Their Collections

by The Daily Front Row

As part of Fashion Hong Kong, Lary Cheung and Yi Chan of Heaven Please+, Harrison Wong, and Sun Lam of Sun=Sen presented their work at Spring Studios on February 6. The Daily caught up with the group ahead of their big day at NYFW to discuss inspirations and  itineraries.

Lary Cheung and Yi Chan of Heaven Please+

Lary Cheung explains all
Building Blocks: “Yi Chan and I studied fashion in university, and that’s part of the reason we chose to work in the industry. Before getting into fashion, we both worked for magazines for a while. It compelled us to design our own clothes when we found it difficult to find the pieces we wanted in the market. That’s why we decided to develop our own brand and started designing something different.”

Pop Culture Encouragement: “For Yi Chan, design inspirations mainly come from texts, books, movies, and music. For me, it’s quite similar. My inspirations come from music, movies, and stories. And sometimes it’s not a story that inspires a collection, but through a collection we tell people a story. I remember in one of our 2016 collections, our designs were inspired by the Chinese writer Liu Yichang. His book Tête-bêche is the story of how two youngsters meet each other because of a slight mistake in the war.”

Aesthetic Evolution: “In general, previous collections were more futuristic and girlish. We would still describe this season as girlish, but it’s somehow more glamorous, with more floral prints. It’s like integrating the elements of a palace into our design.”

Manhattan Itinerary: “One place I want to revisit in New York is the Soho bookstore McNally Jackson. It’s a famous bookstore, and it also has a history that attracts me a lot. It’s not just commercial, but a place that gathers people together to chit-chat and exchange ideas.”

Harrison Wong

Harrison Wong shares his design inspirations 

Aesthetic Inclinations: “Every collection is quite different and unique. But if I’m asked to describe my work, it would be contemporary with understated elegance. In my recent collection, the aesthetic leans more toward workwear. But in the past, it has been more like sportswear.”

Art Enthusiast: “My design inspirations mainly come from artwork. And there’s not one fixed channel of how I get my inspirations. Sometimes I get them when I visit galleries, museums, or other settings and occasions. My Fall 2018 collection, which I presented at New York Fashion Week, was inspired by my visits to cathedrals and the clergy gowns I saw.”

Business Prowess: “The better-selling pieces are those that strike a balance between being design-oriented, while still catering to commercial needs. Different buyers will have different preferences. Some may prefer basics and some may have a certain style they want to look for. Personally, I’d like to make my work well-balanced with both design and commercial elements.”

Favorite Fashion Capital: “Paris is a main destination for me because Paris Fashion Week attracts buyers from all over the world. In terms of other places, for now I don’t really have a preference to explore. I focus more on better understanding the buyers’ tastes.”

Sun Lam

Sun Lam breaks down her fashion message

Mission Statement: “There’s a general concept that ‘fashion’ equals ‘high fashion,’ which distances average people. Through my designs, I want to convey the message that fashion can bring people together. I want to spread positive messages through my brand concept, especially with the use of playful elements, like interesting silhouettes in my designs. My style in general is full of energy, warmth, interest, and is playful, too.”

Fresh Perspective: “Streetwear is generally perceived as more for men, and is usually presented with some rather angry or negative emotions. Therefore, I want to design streetwear through a woman’s angle to explore the possibility of unisex streetwear.”

Crowdsourced Inspo: “If I discover interesting ideas from conversations, I will translate them into my design through playful elements. I remember when I was doing my first collection, I interviewed people of different races and ages on the street with the question, ‘What is your life equation?’ I asked people who passed by to draw their answers on a piece of canvas. That became the inspiration for my first collection! I really like to take inspiration from people’s relationships. There’s so much to explore. My mind alone can never be as broad as all minds combined. People’s ideas are always positive additions to my design.”

Expansion Goals: “I’m quite interested in the European market. Specifically, countries like Germany and France. Japan is also a destination I’d like to explore.”

Partnership Plans: “I’d like to collaborate with an athlete or a comedian because these people always bring energy to us and have a positive influence on society. This is close to my brand concept, and I believe they can inspire me to design pieces that are interesting and reflective of what positivity means in the world.”

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